East Playoffs: 4E Steel City Eliminates 5E Montreal, 134-88

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BALTIMORE, MD — The Steel City Steel Hurtin’ and Montreal New Skids on the Block hooked up in a very evenly-matched contest, with each team well aware that any shot at Championships hinged on the results of this bout. Montreal fought back from an early deficit to take the lead at 53-49 just after the half but never got that one big powerjam which has been Steel City’s weakness this year; Pittsburgh’s controlled game slowly recaptured and stretched the lead until the final score of 134-88.

The first half almost exclusively consisted of one-pass jams, low scores, and a constant array of jammer-line starting packs. Steel City’s star jammers ‘snot rocket science and Hurricane Heather led off with a quick one-two punch to give Pittsburgh the early 7-0 lead. An apex jump by Mange Moi El Cul and a sweet move by Iron Wench around Bonecrusher got 6 unanswered points back for the New Skids over the next two jams. The Steel Hurtin’ defense shut down Montreal over the next 5 jams highlighted by damage dahl’s steady work on Georgia W. Tush and Ally McKill’s big hits on Mange Moi El Cul and the score was 16-6, Steel City. The reliable Iron Wench captured lead jam for Montreal, as she did in 14 of 16 jams, and shot through for 4 points. Before she could call it off, she took a big hit from Ally McKill and her skate hit Ally McKill in the helmet, giving Steel City the first powerjam opportunity to begin the next jam with 17 minutes to go in the half.

The defense of Montreal stepped up however, led by Jess Bandit, Rae Volver, and Chasing Amy and held Mean Burrito to only 6 points over the penalty. The Shocker added another 4 for Pittsburgh as Friction VixXxen kept Ti-Loup off the scoreboard. Iron Wench answered with a 4-0 as Lil’ Mama  relentlessly battered ‘snot rocket science. Athena then dominated Mange Moi El Cul at the back of the pack, giving Mean Burrito time to take several punishing trips through the pack to extend the Steel Hurtin’ lead to 25 with 10 minutes to go. At that point, the New Skids on the Block really turned it on as penalties lightened the pack. Lil’ Mama and Jess Bandit led a defense that held Pittsburgh to only 9 more points in the half while Iron Wench’s bursts of speed, Georgia W. Tush’s ability to withstand multiple hits, and Ti-Loup’s agility racked up 27 to close the half at 49-41 Steel City.

Montreal maintained momentum as the second half whistle blew. Lil’ Mama kept up her big hits on Mean Burrito and Iron Wench shot through the short pack for a huge 12 points without benefit of a powerjam. Montreal had the lead 53-49, having erased a 23-point deficit. A big block by Athena freed Hurricane Heather to get 3 points closer and then The Shocker won a tough matchup against Ti-Loup to tie the game. Mean Burrito fought past Cheese Grater to win a rare lead jam against Iron Wench and recaptured the lead for Steel City at 57-56. Then, despite more penalty trouble for Steel Hurtin’ blockers, Hurricane Heather rattled off 10 points to Georgia W. Tush’s 4 as Pittsburgh’s bench allowed her to skate out the jam. Pittsburgh led 67-60 with 22 minutes to go.

Smack Daddy rode ‘snot rocket science out of bounds clearing Ti-Loup for lead jammer, but as they would do multiple times in the half, Athena’s rear guard and ‘snot rocket science’s closing speed forced Montreal to call off without scoring. After Iron Wench got 4 back for Montreal, Georgia W. Tush looked to keep up the high-energy, deflecting off ‘snot rocket science for lead jammer and then dodging past Athena on her first scoring pass. But then Athena drew a major back block call on the Montreal jammer and The Shocker scored 10 for Steel City, the last points just as the jam clock ended as ‘snot rocket science broke up the two-wall in front. Mean Burrito took the line still in a powerjam situation but a skate malfunction sent her to the center of the track as time ticked away and the opportunity seemed to be wasted with only 3 points for Pittsburgh. With a quarter to go, it was 80-68 Steel Hurtin’.

Two jams later, a great block by Bone Machine took out both Mean Burrito and Friction VixXxen and Iron Wench’s 4 brought the deficit to 10. The Shocker then was first out of the pack but was not declared lead. With only Bonecrusher to pass, Georgia W. Tush seemed ready to capture control but Bonecrusher’s positional defense forced a back block. In the ensuing powerjam, The Shocker opened the lead up by 10 more points with less than 10 minutes to go.

Montreal’s chances were foiled, however, over the final 6 jams as Iron Wench’s three lead jams were caught three times by ‘snot rocket science, resulting in two scoreless jams and a 3-1 Steel City win. Meanwhile, Hurricane Heather utilized smart clock management, skating out her jams for 14 and 17 points while Georgia W. Tush could only manage 3 and 8 against Steel Hurtin’ blockers Madame Abagael and Athena. ‘snot rocket science skated out the final jam, the bout ending with Steel City’s largest lead of the game: 134-88.

Steel City advances to play Gotham at 2pm on Saturday; Montreal plays Carolina in the consolation round at 10am Saturday.

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